The first day of school fills me with a bunch of conflicting emotions. I love the kid’s excitement, the return to routine, the smell of new school supplies. But I’m never ready to say goodbye to summer, to close the door on adventure, no more trips to St Louis, no more corn boils on the farm, homework, soccer and dance to replace the freedom of summer.
Of course, I’m not the only one that’s an emotional mess on such a big day. The kids also have conflicting emotions. By dinner time, after the excitement has worn off, only exhaustion remains. So much change, so many feelings, the only solution is a really great meal, a feast to celebrate a fresh start. Tonight I’m turning to two butter kissed standards, soy butter glazed roast chicken and caramelized pan potatoes to soothe all of our raging emotions. Butter therapy soothes the soul.
The house is filling with the comforting smell of soy butter glazed roast chicken. It’s almost effortless for me as these two fat birds get golden and fill the house with their drool inducing smell. Just a quick butter massage under the birds’ skin, and the chickens can go in the oven. The glaze is just an even mix of butter and soy sauce, applied when the chickens go in the oven and again a few times in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Caramelized pan potatoes are the kids’ favorite side dish, but until recently, I thought of it as a time-consuming special occasion side. My friend Biz showed me this great trick which has cut caramelized potatoes into 10 minute event. The peeled and cut potatoes are pre-cooked in the microwave, under baked potato setting. It takes just another five minutes to get them caramelized and golden brown in the pan with a little more butter.
Great potatoes on the table under 10 minutes? It’s a revolutionary time-saving tip that is going to get used a lot in this kitchen this fall. Check out Biz’s beautiful and down to earth blog for more time-saving, healthy eating cooking inspiration.
- 2 chickens
- 3 Tablespoons of butter
- ¼ cups of soy sauce
- 3 cups of large diced sweet potatoes (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Melt the butter in the microwave and add the soy sauce.
- Remove the chicken from packaging, being sure to remove any organs inside. NOthing worse than a gorgeous roasted chicken with a bag of melted plastic inside. Trust me. Been there. Done that.
- Paint the chicken generously with the butter soy mixture. Put the chicken in the oven. Cook it for 90 minutes, until the juices run clear and not pink when you prick the thigh. During cooking, baste the chicken two more times during cooking, every 30 minutes.
- If you'd like an easy side dish, peel and cut the sweet potato into large chunks, about an inch wide. After the chicken has been coking for 30 minutes, add the sweet potatoes to the bottom of the pan. When you next baste the chicken, also baste the sweet potatoes with the soy butter mixture. The sweet potatoes will be tender yet crispy when the chicken is ready.
- 1 pound of baby potatoes
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and cut the potatoes into ½ inch cubes.
- Place the potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on the potato setting.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the potatoes, tossing to coat. Pan fry on medium high for 3 minutes on one side until golden brown. Toss to flip and cook for another 2 minutes until golden and caramelized on both sides.
- Serve piping hot with salt and pepper to your liking.